It has long been known that stem cells are found in dental pulp, not only in humans but also in other species. Now stem cells from the teeth of dogs have shown remarkable regenerative capacity.
Professor Minoru Ueda and colleagues at the Nagoya University in Japan have performed a new procedure with two sets of dogs, each set consisting of a 2-year-old adult dog and one of its 2-week-old puppies. From the dental pulp of the primary teeth of each of the puppies, stem cells were collected and differentiated into bone cells. After being mixed with plasma from the blood of the parent dogs, the new cells were then injected into holes that had been made in the jawbones of the adult dogs. One month later, in both sets of dogs, newly grown bone was found to have filled the holes, each one of which was approximately 6-tenths of an inch deep and wide.
Bone is one of the most specialized tissues of the body, in any species, and these findings not only offer an effective new therapy for the veterinary treatment of orthopedic injuries in dogs, but canine studies such as these are also translatable to potential new therapies in the treatment of orthopedic injuries in humans.